Book Review: Daniel Donato – The New Master Of The Telecaster: Pathways To Dynamic Solos


This instructional book and DVD set from Hal Leonard is a great piece of work documenting the playing and thoughts of a 19-year-old Daniel Donato. Released in 2014, the version I have is a book (notated only in tablature) that comes along with a DVD. Currently you can also get e-book + online video content.

I first learned about Daniel’s playing from the Guitar Instructor website newsletter around the time the book was just released. Since then, I’ve been following his musical development and been really enjoying the music he’s been creating.

Now onto the book. Let’s get into the details!

With a total of 32 pages and 7 chapters, the book seem like a slim volume. However, do not be deceived! There’s a lot of stuff here.

The first chapter is a transcription of Train Jam, a solo over a three chord blues in A. Chapter 2 introduces his concepts of five pathways in A, a way of navigating through the fretboard in order to solo over changes.

Then, in Chapter 3: Chromatic Notes, Daniel introduces ideas to add chromatic notes to the pathways introduced in the previous chapter. Daniel also shares ways to create lines that move down and up the neck.

The next two chapters demonstrates his approach in using bending technique and then double stops. For the chapter on bending applications, examples are given in the blues style, Clapton style, Bloomfield style and country style. He also shares his own bend concepts. For the double stops chapter, he shows his take on this idiomatic sound as well as what he learned from Johnny Hiland. He also shares rhythmic concepts applied to double stops as well.

Next, in Analyzing Different Styles, Daniel shares what he learned from studying players like J.D. Simo, James Mitchell, Red Volkaert, Danny Gatton, Grady Martin, Roy Nichols and Hank Garland. It’s interesting to see how Daniel distills the elements that he’s learned over the years.

Overall, this is currently one of the best introductions to learn and understand Daniel’s playing. Daniel also has done live video workshops in the past on YouTube Live as well as StageIt. For those interested in supporting his current work, you can check out his Patreon page.

Pros: Good concise work, comes with video and transcriptions. Great for those interested in Daniel’s style or would like to develop some country/blues chops.
Cons: Might be somewhat basic for more advanced players.
TLDR: If you dig Daniel’s playing and want to understand his take on the guitar, get this.

How to Buy:
You can get it on Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Donato-Telecaster-Pathways-Dynamic/dp/1480353647

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[Submissions for Review Consideration]

  • Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
  • Have you created a DVD or an online video course or subscription based website?
  • Would you like me to review your book/course?

Please send me a message at azsamad2 at gmail.com with:

For courses: a link to the course/video/product + access info etc.
For books: a link to the book (Dropbox) or PDF attachment (if it’s small) for review consideration.

Depending on whether I dig the book/course, I’ll let you know if I do plan to review it!

I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p

NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig? 🙂

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